Sunday, October 21, 2007

Are you giving accessibility the consideration it deserves in the user experience?

Making accessibility part of the design process. Good references to articles ...

"We don’t talk about accessibility much here (because there are people who are much better at talking about it than I am), but I have come across two really interesting posts lately that I think you should take a look at if you haven’t already, and if you’re in any doubt as to whether - as a UX person - accessibility is part of your responsibility.

Over at SitePoint [Why Accessibility - Because it’s our job!] James makes it clear that he thinks that accessibility and usability are intricately entwined. More importantly, I think, he re-iterates that in most cases, it takes not that much more effort to make a site accessible in the first place.

Jeremy Keith also takes up the cause on his blog [Ignorance and Inspiration] quoting some truly ignorant responses to the recent Target lawsuit, but also pointing us to these great videos of people using assistive technologies to interact with the internet and other software. [via Richard Johansson ].

They are really quite inspirational and make it clear that even in the face of significant physical restrictions, peole are able to do pretty amazing things with their computers… if we design and code in such a way that allows them. In fact - they manage to do some pretty amazing stuff in the face of some pretty crazy design and coding as well.

Yes, it is true that many clients that you work with will not have a very active interest in accessibility. I have lost count of the number of times that I’ve been told that ‘blind people are not in our target audience’. Not to start in on the fact that making your site accessible is about much more than just people with visual impairment….

There once was the perception that making your website accessible was a time consuming and expensive exercise. That is far from the case. The fact is, a standards compliant site is most of the way to being accessible - this is the way we should be coding our sites anyways!"    (Continued via disambiguity)    [Usability Resources]

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